Twenty-five Beaumont ISD students and their families gathered at Academy Sports + Outdoors on Friday to reap their reward for early school registration.

BISD community relations’ Debbie Bridgeman says registering before July 31 helps schools and teachers better prepare their classrooms and schedules for the incoming number of students.

When Academy Sports + Outdoors approached the district with an offer to help families with back to school supplies, Bridgeman noted it was the perfect incentive to urge early registration.

Over 7,500 students pre-registered before the July 31 deadline, and 25 students were randomly selected to spend $100 apiece during the shopping spree.

Academy’s Tyler Sumrall said, “We’ve done things like this for coaches and teacher appreciation awards, but this is the first time we’ve done it for the school start. It’s important to give back right before school starts, especially now with the financial situation a lot of people are in.”

Related: Check out last year’s Academy teacher shopping spree

Sumrall also said that with the state’s tax-free weekend beginning Friday, it allowed each family to put the entire $100 gift card toward their purchases.

Seventeen of the winning students made it to the Friday morning event, quickly dispersed through the aisles after Bridgeman distributed the cards.

They were looking for clothes, new sneakers, sports equipment and games – items that, for many families, have taken a back seat to necessities like backpacks, pens and notebooks amid soaring inflation.

Related: Find the back to school distributions happening this weekend

Bridgeman said those unable to attend will receive the gift cards at their respective schools when classes resume Wednesday, Aug. 10.

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